While waiting for my son to finish his bass guitar lesson at Boocoo tonight, I noticed a huge crowd inside Ebony Barber Shop, 1702 Dodge Avenue. Everyone appeared to be laughing and having a great time.
I’ve passed that corner of Church & Dodge in my car many a time, never looking in the windows of the barbershop. I’ll also admit, with much shame, that many times I’ve come to a red light at that intersection and wondered how safe it was. Recent news of , other shootings, still more shootings have left me paranoid about safety on that corner of my town.
And yet, as I witnessed laughter and relaxation inside Ebony Barber Shop, I wanted to go in and be a part of it.
I walked into the shop, nervous that the familiar crowd might wonder why I was there. Instead, Gigi welcomed me with a smile and encouraged others to do the same. I joked with barbers and customers and immediately felt at home. Gigi was thrilled to hear someone might mention the business with some free advertising, then handed me a card from her daughter’s business, Ikandi Hair Studio, 1705 Central Street, hoping I’d mention it as well.
I saw people who, just like me, hate the violence in the neighborhood. I saw fellow Evanstonians who choose to look past the reputation of a neighborhood tainted by hardship. Inside the shop I found laughter, jokes, and some serious barber techniques. One man, Joey, leaned back in his tilted barber chair while a hot, steamy cloth was wrapped around his face. Another customer, Jose, sat modestly while friends gathered around to admire his new haircut. Several men sat in chairs against a wall, lobbing friendly jabs at one another. Buzzers buzzed, brooms swept, and the vibe was decidedly upbeat.
The Ebony Barber Shop Facebook page lists itself in this manner:
Ebony Barberhop is the premier barbershop in Evanston, IL. The barbers are professional and the environment is child friendly. Walk-ins are always welcome.
Visit us today: 1702 Dodge Ave.
Open: Tuesday - Saturday
9:00 am- Close
The Facebook Relationship Status for Ebony Barber Shop says: In an Open Relationship. After walking in tonight, I couldn’t agree more.